Creative Launches Development Alliance in the Middle East
By Michael J. Zamba
November 16, 2022
Five companies have formed a strategic alliance to address economic, social and educational challenges facing communities in the Middle East and North Africa region, Creative Associates International announced today.
The new Development Alliance (“Dev-Alliance”) in the MENA region leverages talents, skills, cultural knowledge and geographic expertise of the companies – including three in Jordan and one in Palestine – to improve locally conceived, designed and led programs.
Leland Kruvant, President and CEO of Creative Associates International, says the five-company Dev-Alliance in the MENA region ensures that local entities with exceptional technical knowledge and geographic roots are at the center of the development efforts, while improving their skills as both initiators and implementers of programs funded by bi-lateral and multilateral donors.
“The Dev-Alliance is a collaboration among equals in which partners bring their expertise and insights to the table that ultimately results in better, locally led programming,” says Kruvant. “Local participation and ownership have been our core principles for more than 45 years. The Alliance allows our core principles to go deeper in support of communities and clients.”
The Dev-Alliance members in the MENA region include Edvise ME, ConsultUS, Amawi Takrouri & Associates (ATA) and Core Associates, as well as Creative Associates International. When mutually beneficial, Alliance members will collaborate to design and submit proposals to bilateral and multilateral donors, such as the U.S. Agency for International Development, as well as implement programs jointly in the areas of economic growth, public sector governance, education and more.
Haya Shubailat, a Partner at Edvise ME, a 100 percent women-owned company in Jordan, says the Dev-Alliance is a positive step to ensure that local organizations have a strong and equal voice in the process of designing and implementing development programs.
“We at Edvise ME believe in the strength of a locally rooted, globally connected approach to drive change,” she says. “We are thrilled to join the Dev-Alliance. Together we can learn from each other and exchange knowledge and best practices to promote sound development that will benefit our society and the global community.”
Creative’s Chief Operating Officer, Sani Daher, notes that programs co-developed through the Dev-Alliance should have a greater possibility of continued service after a donor like USAID concludes its intervention.
“Through this Alliance and its pillars of locally conceived and led approaches, we are seeking better continuity between an initial program and its follow on that ultimately leads to more sustainable results for beneficiaries, clients and communities,” Daher says.
With more than two decades of program planning and implementation in the Middle East and elsewhere, he has seen firsthand how and when locally constructed and led development works well.
“As a Palestinian American, I know and greatly appreciate the well-intended efforts by organizations outside the region to support social, economic and educational advancements in the Middle East and elsewhere,” Daher says. “Real results, particularly sustainability, are always better when local partners are front and center in the building and roll out of these initiatives.”
BEYOND TEAMING AGREEMENTS
Benjamin Feit, Creative’s Chief Growth Officer, says the Dev-Alliance is a departure from traditional “teaming agreements,” which is a common subcontracting relationship typically signed between an international development implementer and a local, often smaller organization in pursuit of a government contract or cooperative agreement.
“Teaming dynamics in the international development sector unfortunately tend to be transactional and extractive. They perpetuate short-term relationships around single opportunities without prospects for long-term partnerships that extend beyond an individual prime/sub opportunity to a broader, mutually beneficial collaboration,” Feit says. “The Dev-Alliance seeks to break that mold.”
Each Dev-Alliance member will bring their specific brand of technical expertise, along with local insight and contextual awareness. Creative will bring global experience and provide institutional, general and administrative support to Dev-Alliance members. The strategy to strengthen local capacity is based on a shared commitment to a set of principles that will guide mutually beneficial outcomes to programming.
“Dev-Alliance members are smart, motivated and well connected in the region,” Feit says. “We want them with us not only because they are local, but because they are the best. That combination will better serve clients, communities and other beneficiaries.”
The Dev-Alliance is based on a memorandum of understanding between the individual members and Creative. It is not a joint venture and each company will maintain independent business operations.
“At ConsultUS, we are very excited to be part of this important Alliance that will enable members of this initiative to share their accumulated experience with other countries of the region,” says Ghaith Zureikat, CEO of ConsultUS. “From a business perspective, this Alliance builds a unique approach which will help us to expand our presence in the region and build valuable intellectual capital for ConsultUS and other members of the Dev-Alliance.”
Farah Mawla, Creative’s Senior Manager for Business Development in the MENA region, says more Dev-Alliance members in the Middle East will be added after the pilot phase, with an emphasis on like-minded organizations with a desire to hone their skills as initiators and implementers of development programs.
ABOUT CREATIVE ASSOCIATES INTERNATIONAL
Creative Associates International is a social impact company that specializes in the areas of education, economic growth, democratic transitions and stabilization in post-conflict environments. Based in Chevy Chase, Maryland, this global development organization has a field presence in more than 30 countries and a strong client portfolio that includes the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department.
Since its founding in 1977 by four enterprising women, Creative has earned a solid reputation among its clients and is well-regarded by competitors and partners alike. https://www.CreativeAssociatesInternational.com